Providence Friars 66 (4-1)
Belmont Bruins 65 (4-2)
It may not have been the prettiest of wins, but a win is a win, is a win, is a win. I’m certainly thankful for Kyron Cartwright’s heroics this year.
After a back-and-forth matchup with Belmont, a pair of clutch plays by both teams at the end of the game decided the final outcome for the game. It was truly one of those games where the last team with the ball was going to get the win. Belmont is one of the leaders in the country at attempting threes and chucked up 33 of them in their effort at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, connecting on 11 (33.3%). Of their 49 total shots, 67.3% were from beyond the arc. There were a lot of defensive breakdowns on the Friars end of things that led to some wide open looks for the Bruins, but ultimately, whenever the Friars needed a big play, Kyron Cartwright showed up.
This Belmont win is going to look pretty darn good at the end of the year. The Bruins have already beaten Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State, and were chosen to repeat as winners of Ohio Valley Conference this year. I could see this team pulling an upset come NCAA tournament time with their style of play and good coaching from Coach Byrd.
- The Friars were lucky to get a win in this one, as Coach Cooley repeatedly said in his post-game comments, but I’ll take it. The Friars shot 39.7% from the field, the first time that they’ve dropped under 40% in a game this year and just 28.6% from three, a category that they were leading the country in before the game.
- A think this really sums up the Friars defense in the game…
- There seemed to be miscommunications on a ton of picks on D that led to wide open looks for Belmont, and a few of them coming at the most inopportune times.
- But enough about me being a little negative here…I mean, when there’s a finish like this, there’s really nothing you can be but ecstatic.
CARTWRIGHT! FOR THE WIN!
— #BIGEASThoops (@BIGEASTMBB) November 23, 2017
- Coach Cooley knew what he was doing by not calling a timeout and putting the game in the hands of the team’s leader, Kyron Cartwright. I don’t think one view of that shot is enough…
— The Morning Hangover (@TheMorningHang) November 23, 2017
- Every single time that the Friars were in dire need of a score, Kyron Cartwright provided it. He put the team on his back and made plays when the game was on the line. Cartwright finished with a team-high 17 points on 7-13 shooting. He only recorded 1 assist which means that we’ll have to wait until next game for him to make some moves on the all-time assist list.
- Cooley kept Kyron out of the game for a long period in the beginning of the second half when the offense seemed to be stalling out a little bit and Cartwright finished only playing 27 minutes on the night. I’d like to see at least 5 more minutes of play from him, especially in such a close back-and-forth game.
- Cartwright looked like he could get to the hole any time he pleased.
— The Morning Hangover (@TheMorningHang) November 23, 2017
- After being a little concerned about the Friars free throw shooting in the pre-season, they’ve really been solid so far this year and connected on all 10 attempts in the game. Granted, they had been averaging well over 20 attempts a game on the season, but I like the makes nonetheless.
- Most notably is the improvement in Kalif Young’s ability to sink them at the line. Young made two big free throws down the stretch that looked 1000x better than last year. Young was only 37% from the line last year on 46 attempts. He’s hitting them at a 70.6% clip already this year and you can tell he put in the work in the off-season to make sure that part of his game wouldn’t be a liability this year.
- Young grabbed 7 boards in just 17 minutes, along with 4 points and was very active on defense.
- Bullock continues to play well offensively and notched his third game in a row with 15 or more points. Rodney also led the team with 8 rebounds and hit some HUGE free throws down the stretch that touched nothing but nylon after the refs basically try to freeze our free throw shooter by taking forever to determine who was actually fouled.
- As soon as I mentioned how the rim basically had a lock on it whenever Alpha Diallo took a shot, he immediately began to make everything he took. He was pivotal down the stretch with some effort rebounds and buckets down low. Diallo ended up with 13 points on 6-13 from the floor after starting just 1-5.
- Jalen Lindsey is cementing his case to return to the starting lineup as he played 32 minutes of the bench and drained 4-7 from deep for 12 points. That marks 31 games in a row with a made three for Lindsey. His shot is so damn silky.
- Isaiah Jackson struggled for the 3rd game in a row and played just 10 minutes in the game. After starting the season with back-to-back double-digit scoring performances against Houston Baptist (11) and Minnesota (10), Jackson is now just 1-10 over his last 3 games for 4 points total. It might make sense to swap Jalen and Isaiah and see if he can get himself going off the bench, much like the end of last season.
- Maliek White did a little bit of everything off the bench with a made three, an assist, a rebound, and two steals. That three looked reaaaaallll good too.
- Makai Ashton-Langford looked a little tentative when shooting and kept going up with his right while driving to his left, which left him very susceptible to blocks and contests on most of his shots. He was 0-6 from the floor on the night but did notch a game-high 3 assists and 0 turnovers.
- Nate (s)Watson had a nice block but didn’t get much run against a Belmont team that mostly keeps things spread beyond the three-point line.
- I like this picture…
- But I think I like this one more…
— L (@Lauren6194) November 23, 2017
- I’m all for the shush move from a player who makes a big shot or when it’s in the moment…but this guy was on the bench when the big shot was made where he shushed the crowd. But maybe he played really well…let’s check out the box score. Hmmmm, 3 minutes and 2 points. Yeah, maybe don’t do that big guy. You have to earn shushes.
- Kris Dunn, I’m sorry, I mean Chicago Bulls starter Kris Dunn, checking in with some Friar love and shout out to Kyron.
Uhhhh Ohhhh Kyron Looking For The Big East Player Of The Year Award!!! Big Time Shot!!! #GoFriars
— Kris Dunn (@KrisDunn3) November 23, 2017
- A.J. Reeves and David Duke were in the building for this one and look to already be becoming fan favorites.
— Rivals Nation (@RivalsNation) November 23, 2017
- Hometown calls of big shots are always more entertaining because of how passionate the local guys are about their team. So obviously John Rooke and Joe Hassett were on point with their call of the Cartwright buzzer-beater.
— FʀɪᴀʀTV (@FriarTV) November 23, 2017
- Last words from Ed Cooley on the game.
What an exciting team win! Our guys fought and found a way to get it done. A lot to learn from and get better! Let’s pack the Dunk on Saturday!
— Ed Cooley (@CoachCooleyPC) November 23, 2017
Next up, the Friars get a chance to avenge last season’s loss to Boston College as the Eagles travel to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday for an 8 PM tip. The game will be televised on FS1.